Talk:1259: Bee Orchid

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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First! The act of telling someone not to jinx something causes the jinx you're trying to prevent. gijobarts (talk) 07:02, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

I had thought all the worker bees were female, and all the male "drones" stayed in the hives. The Wikipedia says that isn't true for all species. gijobarts (talk) 07:15, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia on the reproduction of Ophrys apifera:

It is the only species of the genus Ophrys which preferentially practice self-pollination. The flowers are almost exclusively self-pollinating in the northern ranges of the plant's distribution, but pollination by the solitary bee Eucera occurs in the Mediterranean area. In this case the plant attracts these insects by producing a scent that mimics the scent of the female bee. In addition, the lip acts as a decoy as the male bee confuses it with a female. Pollen transfer occurs during the ensuing pseudocopulation.
Bees in the past have promoted the evolution of bee orchids. Male bees, over many generations of cumulative orchid evolution, have built up the bee-like shape through trying to copulate with flowers, and hence carrying pollen.

gijobarts (talk) 07:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

A colony of ophrys apifera was discovered a few months ago.(Spanish). Probably not related.
This page (Vietnamese) has an excellent photo of an ophrys apifera, along with other strange-looking plants. You can see how it looks like bees in that photo. gijobarts (talk) 07:50, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Was there once another bee that pollinated it in more areas, or did the eucera once populate more of the world, or has the flower expanded where the bee has not followed? gijobarts (talk) 08:47, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Eucera is common all over Europe. But only the Southern bees recognize the plant. It may be the northern plants started selecting for a different bee that went extinct, or Eucera got ahead of the arms race in Europe or that self-pollination is more effective for now or some other reason entirely. 15:41, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

The Axe body spray gag is particularly relevant, since the ad's depiction of a woman, like the flower, is another imitation of real females of a species meant to draw males of the species through deception. Nick Douglas (talk) 17:50, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

You are right, and the title text is still too descriptive. Give us a try.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:29, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Note that (as doubtless mentioned in the linked-to Wikipedia article, "Axe" is known as "Lynx" in the UK (at least). The same style of marketing campaign, however, with the partially homogonised Anglo-American (or even Worldwide) cultural references fighting it out with local variations in sensibilities and advertising law/regulation. Meaning that besides alternate product-shots and (sometimes) voiceovers, they do tend to have similar/identical action composition in their ads.

Also, self-pollination is being described as "a form of in-breeding". I think making that "the ultimate form of in-breeding", or similar, would be more accurate. In-breeding generally is used to describe more marginal or "just beyond the limit" forms of incests (e.g. close cousins, in human cultures), up until sibling or parent/child genetic re-mixing, but only full parthenogenisis seems to be more 'extreme' (although arguably less dangerous, through its long-time 'practice', rather than being a step back from the more beneficial sexual reproduction methods that the self-fertilising organism generally will have had to make, like in this case). 23:29, 2 September 2013 (UTC)